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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Council members’ concern for constituents’ ideas

Wednesday Potpourri
One Councilman rarely responds to emails, but is happy to discuss issues, often at length, with anyone who asks. The Mayor and Pro Tem respond to calls, emails, and questions – period. They schedule time to talk to any citizen with a question, giving the impression that they care what the citizenry think. They sit down and talk with those who insult them. These three Council members seem to be trying to represent all citizens, not just those who agree with them.

We have been unable to engage either Councilwoman in any more than brief conversation, or to get any return phone calls or texts from them, or to have our emails to them answered. They are frequently engaged with their followers after Council or Commission meetings, though. That is, they do seem responsive -- to those who agree with them.

Chamber childish at work

Only two medium and one soft “honk” came from the “Chamber’s childish” contingent during Tuesday night’s Council meeting. That was, sadly, an improvement – maybe they're tiring of their squeaky toy

And, a song which was probably intended to be cute was sung so far off key it was difficult to understand – apparently the idea was dissonance rather than message. Why is someone singing at a governing body meeting, you ask? Yep, we ask that a lot.

(To paraphrase an old joke: What’s the difference between the anti’s who crowd Chambers during Council meetings and the Boy Scouts? Answer, the Boy Scouts have adult leadership.)

Rules are for you, not me

Commenters have three minutes to present whatever they want to the City Council at the beginning of the meeting. During agenda item discussions their comments can only address the specific issue being discussed. This is spelled out in state law and City ordinances. However, some commenters think that they are entitled to ignore the rules that apply to the rest of us.

One comment during the “specific item” citizen input about a proposed rehearing degenerated into an attack on Councilmen who “looked bored.” Looking bored was criticized as “rude” and became the focus of the comment. The ranters and ravers were appalled that the Mayor insisted on the discussion remaining on point – per law. Their view seemed to be, “How dare he enforce the rules when she wants to insult Council members? Their cries of outrage suggested they think “the rules don't apply to her.”

Entitlement enriched – but not enabled; the Mayor didn't let her continue her rudeness rant.

Outsiders respectful and courteous

We noticed that most of the courteous and respectful commenters at this meeting were from out-of-town. So they could be excused for not understanding the Costa Mesa ordinances regarding rehearings. (Issues can be re-heard only for new and pertinent information.) Most of these commenters identified themselves as representatives of local tribes who wanted Fairview Park areas protected from encroachment, which wasn't the issue.

We doubt that the local complainers (and Newport Beach recruits) learned much about decorum from their good example, though. After all, Kindergarten and their mothers weren't very successful at instilling manners and respect for fair play.


  1. Thank you. I appreciate a reasonable person coming to this conclusion. Sometimes I have trouble engaging the council men majority because they are so engaged in dialogue and activities with our community. An understandable hassle for me that I creatively deal with. What a problem to handle.

    On the other hand, two of my bosses refuse to meet with me. Not only me but project applicants tell me they will not return their calls either.

    Aren't we all supposed to have the interests of our city as the focus?

  2. I watched the entire meeting from home on my computer, and was sorry I missed it in person, since you can only see so much that way and have no "feel" for the room...The singing was just way off topic and embarrassing to watch...